Jaromir Jagr turned 44 on Monday. Despite being just the third 44-year-old active player since 1975, he’s the leading scorer on the Florida Panthers and looks like he still has gas left in the tank.
In (slightly belated… oops) honor of his birthday, here are 19 things that have happened since he started playing in the NHL at age 18:
Since Jaromir Jagr’s NHL debut on October 5, 1990…
1. Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, Connor Brickley, Aaron Ekblad, Rocco Grimaldi, Erik Gudbranson, Quinton Howden, Jonathan Huberdeau, Dmitry Kulikov, John McFarland, Greg McKegg, Dylan Olsen, Alex Petrovic, Brandon Pirri, Logan Shaw, Reilly Smith, Vincent Trocheck, and Garrett Wilson were born. They are all currently Jagr’s teammates.
2. Sergei Fedorov entered the NHL, won three Stanley Cups and a Hart Trophy, retired, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
3. Nick Nolte was named sexiest man alive, made a movie with Shaq, and became a well-known nut.
4. His current team, the Florida Panthers, entered the NHL via expansion.
5. The San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild also entered the league as expansion franchises.
6. The Atlanta Thrashers failed as an expansion franchise and were relocated to Winnipeg. In their time as the Thrashers, they scored 2,428 goals. That’s ten fewer goals than Jagr has been involved in as a pro (total points in all pro leagues and international play since he turned pro at 17).
7. The Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas, the original Winnipeg Jets moved to Arizona, the Hartford Whalers moved to Carolina, and the Quebec Nordiques moved to Colorado.
8. The Thrashers became the second Winnipeg Jets franchise to exist during Jagr’s time in the NHL. He’s the only active player to have scored on both Winnipeg Jets franchises.
9. Four different actors have played Batman.
10. The NHL has gone through three lockouts.
11. He left the NHL for three seasons. Most assumed he was done playing and would never come back. Since then, he’s played another five NHL seasons.
12. Kobe Bryant entered the NBA, had a Hall of Fame career, and announced that the current season would be his last. Bryant entered the NBA seven years after Jagr entered the NHL.
13. He had a fashionable mullet. He cut it when it wasn’t fashionable, and then continued playing long enough for it to be cool for him to regrow it ironically.
14. Planet of the Apes has been rebooted twice.
15. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles started a trilogy of films the same year as Jagr’s debut. Then started a whole new franchise, twice.
16. He played in the NHL’s first attempt at the World Cup, saw it fail, and then played long enough for the league to forget about its failure and give it another shot.
17. He’s played long enough to be older than the league’s youngest coach by three years.
18. He outlasted players in other sports who were also rookies in 1990, including Derrick Coleman, Kendall Gill, Gary Payton, Jeff George, Emmitt Smith, John Randle, Shannon Sharpe, Steve Avery, Jose Offerman, Delino DeShields, Moises Alou, and Paul Abbott.
Dustin Nelson hopes he’s still writing when he’s 44. You should follow him on Twitter.